Element of Hope

Spending years exploring the east coast by boat, Roger and Patti Vonderahe have always been obsessed with the sea. SCUBA divers, marine product developers, and avid boaters, they fell in love with Bald Head Island over 20 years ago. And have been visiting every year since with their family. The natural shoreline, the sea life, the golf carts, were all highlights for sure, but the most amazing of all were the hours spent through the night, powering through bugs, watching turtle nests. All in the hopes to guide a baby turtle to sea. That's where the fascination with sea turtles for this family began. 

Roger and Patti, along with their three children, Dalaney (23), Grant (21) and Conor (20), created Element Hope, a not-for-profit focused on protecting our oceans and helping the coastal communities around them. Element Hope is an organization dedicated to raising ocean awareness through the advancements in Technology, Education, and Partnerships with local Conservation Networks. 

Exciting new technology being developed by Element Hope will help monitor and protect sea turtle’s nests.  We hope to use this new technology next season on Bald Head! 

Element Hope was founded in an attempt to give back to the ocean for all that the ocean has given the Vonderahe family. Element Hope’s efforts have already made a large impact on Bald Head. Through their generosity the Conservancy’s internship program has been extended from 4 to 10 months. This allows the interns to work on larger and more insightful projects, such as a virtual reality project that has us partnering with the University of Wilmington.  The Conservancy’s interns will be working on this special program that will teach area youth about sea turtle protection, through virtual reality. The Conservancy is grateful to Element Hope and the Vonderahe family for allowing this unique opportunity and look forward to the discoveries their partnership will make.
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